Music to My Ears: Battle of the [Folk] Bands


Hey ya’ll! I’m Vicki: class of 2019, ethnomusicology and applied-math economics double concentrator, and your blogger for the Music to My Ears column. I’ll be writing all about Brown’s diverse and bustling music scene each week, so stay tuned!

The Brown University Folk Festival Board is a group of students that organize an annual Folk Festival each spring (folk music? Folk yeah!). The festival brings professional musicians from around the northeast for a weekend of folk and fun.

So what is Battle of the Bands? The festival reserves the opening spot of the festival for a talented student folk band, and – you guessed it – the folk bands of Brown go to war with vocal harmony and string instruments in a one-night-long music competition, which we can refer to epic-ly as “The Battle.”

The Battle was hosted in the Underground (the same place B-side’s Coffee Haus was hosted), and included six bands:

North of Home kicked off with hilarious, college-student relatable lyrics in their original song “Happiness in a Microwave.” Next up was Felt (pictured above), which featured quirky cello and violin parts alongside clear vocal harmony. Gallo Sin Pollo was a small, two-person act with clap rhythms for percussion that lent a cozy vibe to the stage. Sons of Providence sang about wine in “Out of the Bottle”, and Young Hummus had a sick harmonica solo. Shanendoah was a charismatic, charming one-man ukelele act, and Nadim Silverman blew us away with his voice, backed by a strumming guitar.

Final verdict? Although all the acts were absolute amazing, the board finally settled on not one, but three acts for the festival. North of Home, Felt, and Gallo Sin Pollo will be performing on April 22nd and 23nd – so, officially, I will end here with a to be continued….

Questions, comments, or concerns? I want to hear ’em. Seriously! Shoot me an email at


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